Non-Stick Plans: Conversation and Jazz

"Do we have to plan like this for every lesson after we finish the course?" a CELTA trainee asked me recently. No! Please no! Apart from kicking off a mental health time bomb (teaching more than one lesson a day, when would you sleep?!), you'd miss out on the genuine flavour of human interaction that [...]


Marieke van der Meer, what’s your WHY?

Age: 55+ Origins: Born in a tiny rural village in the Netherlands. Until we moved house at the age of 10 I spoke both standard Dutch (at home and in the classroom) and the local dialect (with my friends and in the school playground). I must have picked up the dialect in Kindergarten – didn’t [...]

Shadowing a Teacher, by Alexandrs Lapinski

The following is an account by an 18-year-old student at my former school, International House Riga-Satva in Latvia. Very interesting read, and plenty of food for thought. Thank you, Alexandrs, for your time and effort! I hope your 'flirting' with the idea of teaching leads to a lasting relationship 🙂 Shadowing a teacher for a [...]

Gianni Licata, what’s your WHY?

Age: 42 Origins: Los Angeles; Rome. Current roles: Teacher Training Co-ordinator, IH Rome. Founder, The Unpublished. Previous teaching experience: 13 years of teaching; 8 years as a CELTA trainer; Delta trainer (experience in the USA, Asia and Europe). WHY? I was recently asked this question by Chloé Schiavone, the DoS at IH Pescara. I’m not sure I was [...]

Get Real! Conference, Ancona. Authenticity is…5 things.

Firstly, thanks very much to the team at Victoria International House Ancona/Jesi for organising such a great conference. It's a privilege to be part of a network of 160 International House schools worldwide that share, collaborate and constantly push themselves to set the standard in English language teaching worldwide. In case anyone was looking for [...]

Food for Thought: 21 Lessons for the 21st Century

“Think before you speak. Read before you think.” – Fran Lebowitz And read, think and speak before you teach. Encouraging your students to read is hypocritical if you don't make time for it yourself. Not having new ideas, experiences and perspectives is a sin if your job is to motivate and share knowledge with a [...]